Kayak Storage - Minicell vs Webbing?

-- Last Updated: Oct-29-12 2:16 PM EST --

Greetings All,

In the near future (this weekend hopefully) - I will be working on a platform to store kayaks on their sides working in conjunction with a Harken Hoister System (the 200# model - supposedly still safe and easy to use at 300#s) in the garage - Harken's instructions indicated that 6 foot is the max width for a platform - it should be plenty of room to be able to store 4 light touring kayaks on their sides (Wilderness Tchaika, Impex Sea Breeze, Dagger Baja, 4th one is wishful thinking ;-))

Thinking about my options for the platform - I came up with the following:

Option #1
2x4 frame with 8 chunks of 3" deep minicell (two for each kayak). Side supports will be 3/4" steel lamp pole pipe (24-26" long) acting as side rests w/ pool noodle padding - 2 per kayak - 10 in total (so the kayak at the end wont fall off from a freak wind, etc).
Concerns: MiniCell Foam will compress over time? May need to use 4x4s for where the pipes go into the frame

Option #2
2x4 frame with 2x4s as the vertical side supports. Between the side supports will be (2) 2" nylon webbing - acting as a suspension for the kayak
Concerns: The 2x4s side supports will lean inwards/outwards/warp over time. If I don't put the webbing on evenly, one end can have significantly more weight that the other and not be balanced/over time cause dents?

Option #3
2x4 frame with cheap J cradles for cars
Concerns: Costs the most. Most cheap J cradles are not a good solution for storing kayaks for long term without additional padding?

Right now in between Option #1 & #2 - So Mini Cell with padded steel pipes for side support or Nylon Webbing w/ 2x4s for side support?

While on the topic of supporting the kayaks - I suppose I could make the platform have 4 points of support for each kayak (instead of 2 blocks of minicell foam per kayak, it would be 4, etc) - but that really shouldn't be necessary?

Thank in advance!,


Even minicell compresses over time
If you store the kayak hull-down on the foam, the foam compresses less.

But if the kayak is stored on its side (as if on crossbars with a riser), there is more weight concentrated on a small area. This causes more compression underneath.

I’ve kept sea kayaks stored each way and have noticed that method #2 definitely results in more compression. Don’t use pipe foams, because they’re toast after a very short time.

If you angle the kayak at close to 45 degrees, that may help reduce the load on the foam underneath.

Inside a garage, minicell is probably overkill - an open cell, cheap foam will probably conform better and save you money. And a couple of inches of faom is probably plenty for most boats. Yes it will compress and conform, but that’s what you want it to do, right?

The more area on the foam, the better, so a large chunk of foam right under the bulkheads ought to do the trick.

Jim $0.02

What are you worried about?

– Last Updated: Oct-30-12 7:06 AM EST –

Any of these methods will work fine and there's really not much to choose between them. With a hoist, all you need is a couple of web straps to go around the boat. It seems that you're WAY over-thinking this. Kayaks aren't fragile items and any indoor storage is more than they need. Just do whatever is easiest.

2" webbing costs a lot less than 3" thick minicell plank.

I’ve used webbing
and it works great.


I’ve also used rope instead of webbing. It worked too.


Boat support
If you don’t want to take any chances and don’t mind the ends of your boat sticking out, I suggest the following:


This is the overflow from the shed where my fav’s hang from straps from the rafters. I thought I was probably going to have some damaged boats but I’ve been doing this for two years with no hull problems.

Pool noodles on an old bunk bed.

The one on the lower left- I don’t recommend that, it’s fairly recent and I am really out of room. If I get rid of the lawn mower I could get one more boat in the shed…

Whether you store your boat, support the weight of thekayak evenly by using padded cradles, wide nylon straps or angled surfaces. Do not hang the kayak from the grab loops or lay it on its side without support. Spend a little time to figure out what storage method works best for your situation. Good explanation on the different storage options for the kayak owners you can find here http://www.craigmarine.info/yacht_boat/builders/canoe_boat/Canoe-Storage.htm